Best gymnast of all time dies at 58

RIA Novosti / Dmitry Donskoy
Nikolay Andrianov, the most decorated male gymnast of all time, died on Monday aged 58.

Andrianov was suffering from the degenerative neurological disorder multiple system atrophy and was unable to move his arms or legs or talk. He died in his home town of Vladimir.

Andrianov held the record for men for most Olympic medals at 15, until American swimmer Michael Phelps surpassed him at the 2008 Beijing Games.

He is third on the all-time list of athletes with the most Olympic medals behind fellow gymnast Larisa Latynina (18) and Phelps (16).

All-in-all, he won seven Olympic gold medals at three different Games – in Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980.

He retired in 1980 and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Hall of Fame in 2001, widely recognized as the best gymnast of all time.

He is survived by his wife, two-time Olympic gymnastics champion Lyubov Burda, and two sons.

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